(SNO) — Saint Lucia was represented at a major sailing event recently, as Stephanie Devaux-Lovell competed in the second round of the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series.
The competition took place from January 27 to February 3, 2019 in Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida, USA. More than 650 sailors from 60 nations competed across the 10 Olympic events.
Devaux-Lovell finished 27th out of 59 sailors in the women’s laser radial event. She ended with a total of 286.00 points, and a net of 240.00. Her up-and-down run included two top-10 finishes, and once in the top 15, but unfortunately, she also had a 46th placed finish and three others in the 30’s.
Having made the top five at the Central American and Caribbean Games twice in a row, Devaux-Lovell said the Hempel event was valuable in that it taught her a great deal.
She said: “This race was my first of the year, and my first in such a high level event since Rio [the 2016 Olympics]. I am hoping to go to another one in two weeks and do some training as I have a short break in school. The event was great in terms I had a lot of really great moments, but also some not-so-good moments. But I’m glad they happened because it gave me the opportunity to learn some very important lessons. All in all a great experience and I’m looking forward to taking what I’ve learnt forward and working hard with my coach to keep improving.”
Her trip to Florida meant that Saint Lucia’s 23-year-old champion took a break from her studies at the University of Toronto, in fact returning to school just in time to write exams. It was worth it in that she moved into the world’s top 100 in the February rankings, sitting in 92nd position, up from 169 last September.
At the same time, she admitted that conditions in Canada are far from ideal for sailing at the moment, which is having an adverse effect on her preparation for international events like the upcoming Pan Am Games.
“School is great,” she said. “I love it, though I can’t sail up here because the lake is frozen. I’ve been working on land training with my coach and trying to do events and training sessions often.”
If, as expected, Devaux-Lovell competes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she will be the first Saint Lucian sailor to appear at more than one Olympiad.